Ralph Fiennes wants to keep playing M after 'No Time to Die'

Watch: Trailer for No Time to Die

Ralph Fiennes is not keen to relinquish the keys to M’s swanky office after No Time to Die and would love to serve as the boss to Daniel Craig’s replacement.

The 58-year-old star told Total Film he’d be keen to reprise the role again when the new James Bond is chosen.

Read more: Actors who could play the next James Bond

Fiennes first played MI6 official Mallory in the 2012 film Skyfall and took over the role of M when Judi Dench’s character was killed at the climax of the film.

Following in the footsteps of Dench, Bernard Lee and Robert Brown, he presided over MI6 in the sequel Spectre and will be Bond’s boss once again when No Time to Die is finally able to arrive in cinemas.

"If anyone from Eon Films is listening, I'm very keen to continue training the new Bond," Fiennes said.

M (Ralph Fiennes) and James Bond (Daniel Craig) in 'No Time to Die'. (Credit: Eon/Instagram)
M (Ralph Fiennes) and James Bond (Daniel Craig) in 'No Time to Die'. (Credit: Eon/Instagram)

He added: “I love playing M, and I love being part of that franchise. But who knows? Things have to change.

“But I love working with Daniel. He's a terrific Bond. I will treasure that experience."

Read more: Pub crawl helped Fiennes nail The Dig accent

Fiennes is currently promoting his work in Netflix drama The Dig, in which he plays self-taught archaeologist Basil Brown alongside Carey Mulligan as landowner Edith Pretty.

The movie tells the story of Brown’s work to uncover an Anglo-Saxon burial ship buried beneath Pretty’s property at Sutton Hoo.

The eventual find, which included the well-preserved ship and dozens of artefacts, is considered one of the most important archaeological achievements of all time.

Lashana Lynch and Daniel Craig in a still from No Time To Die. (Eon/Universal)
Lashana Lynch and Daniel Craig in a still from No Time To Die. (Eon/Universal)

As for Bond, No Time to Die has found itself hitting numerous stumbling blocks in the last year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic — after an already turbulent path to the big screen.

The movie was the first major blockbuster to delay its release, which had originally been set for April 2020 and was shunted again in the autumn.

Read more: Steven Soderbergh almost helmed a James Bond movie

After a third delay, No Time to Die is now due to arrive in UK cinemas on 8 October 2021.

Alongside Craig and Fiennes, the returning cast of the movie includes Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear and Christoph Waltz as the villainous Blofeld.

They are joined by Rami Malek’s new baddie Safin, as well as Ana de Armas and Lashana Lynch, with the latter portraying a new 00 agent.

Watch: Rami Malek discusses psychological toll of Bond villain role